Interviews are a great way to determine if a company is a good fit for you and vice versa. Use these tips as you prepare for these important conversations.

# Interview Overview

What is an Interview?

Interview Questions

Interview Research



Interview Mindset

# What is an interview?

An interview is a formal or informal conversation between an employer and a candidate (you). It is a two-way dialogue where both parties ask and answer each other's questions. 

Interviews help employers:

  • determine your fit for their organization
  • assess your ability to complete specific tasks and responsibilities
  • clarify any questions about your application materials and person

Interviews help candidates (you):

  • discover if the organization is a good fit for you
  • clarify any questions about the position or organization

Each industry and country has their own interview policies and requirements. We strongly encourage you to research and adapt to the industry and/or local interview standards to best communicate your skillset and fit to your interviewers.

You can use this general and Germany-specific information as a starting point, and then research interview standards for specific industry and/or locations.

# Interview Research

Before holding your first conversation it's very important to prepare well for an interview.

Do your research before the interview to gather as much information about the position and organization as possible. Sample resources include the position description, organization's online presence and your contacts (including ESCP alumni) at the organization.

During your interview you will be asked about yourself/your CV and technical questions related to the specific role, field and/or industry. Get a good sense of the industry, key industry players, relevant tools for this position and the latest news/developments in the industry.

Some interviews, especially in consulting and marketing, may include case studies. Here you will guide the interviewer through your solution for a specific case. There are numerous apps, books and other resources - ask the ESCP libraries and/or career advisors for guidance. Practice your answers with a friend or other contacts.

Gather any resources you need for the interview. This includes technology (e.g. video conferencing software), transportation, appropriate clothing (generally business formal) and time off from courses/work (if applicable).

# Interview Structure

  • Interviews usually start with everyone introducing themselves.

  • The next part is usually biographical / CV-based. Here, you discuss your previous experiences and relevant skills.

  • This is usually followed by the technical/expertise-related part. Here, you highlight your knowledge of the field, role and industry. The employers may share insights into the position.

  • Then you have the opportunity to ask your questions.
  • The interview ends with the employer sharing next steps, including their timeline and communication channels.

  • We highly encourage you to send a thank you email to your interviewer within 24 hours of your interview. This adds a positive note to your application and allows you to expand on any points from the interview.


These structures generally apply for different types of interviews. Here are common types of interviews:


These are often the first interviews, generally with a recruiter. In these 10 - 30 minutes you discuss your CV, interest in the role and general information about the position and organization.
If your screening interview is successful this is often the next step. Here you interact directly with a manager and/or your colleagues, depending on the organization's structure. These interviews can be one-on-on or panel (multiple people). These interviews are generally more technical and focused on the position's tasks and responsibilities.
In these interviews you will be presented with a business problem or puzzle. You will then walk the interviewer through your thought process, highlighting your logical thinking skills. Case studies are common in consulting and marketing.
These interviews allow an employer to connect with you on a more personal level and see how you act outside the office. Even though these interviews take place in a more casual setting you should still prepare for them fully and act professionally.
Prior to the interview or as a next step the interviewer may ask you to complete a specific task and share your results within a specific timeframe. This task may be similar to the tasks associated with the role and gives the interviewer an assessment of your abilities. This can include video recordings.
Some companies may hold assessment days where they interview multiple candidate within the same day. You can expect several of the interview formats mentioned above plus additional formats (self-presentation, group discussions, etc) during this day.

# Interview Questions

During an interview you may be asked several different types of questions. Interview questions may depend on the type of organization, industry, position, location and even the interviewer's personal preferences.

We encourage you to research typical interview questions for the position and organization, and to prepare for as many questions as possible. This will allow you to best present yourself to an organization.

Here is an overview of general interview questions:

At the beginning of the interview you will get the chance to tell the interviewer about yourself, your motivation and your interest in the position. Your response should be concise (2 minutes max), compelling and comprehensive. Common questions include:
  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Tell us about your previous experiences.
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • Here you will be asked questions about your previous experiences, skills and abilities. You may be asked to verify or to expand on the information on your CV. Common questions include:
  • What is your greatest success?
  • What is your favorite internship? Which specific aspects about it did you enjoy?
  • Which tasks do you enjoy? Which tasks do you dislike?
  • These questions focus on how you behave or act in a specific situation. Your answers help the interviewer understand how your past behaviors would help you act in a future setting. Common questions include:
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How do you deal with stress?
  • Tell us about a mistake you made and how you resolved it.
  • Here you will be asked to share how you have used specific skills or attitudes that are important for the position at hand. Your answers should show the interviewer that you are able to complete the position and fit in with the organization. Common questions include:
  • Give me an example of your leadership skills.
  • Which role do you take on in a team?
  • Tell me about a time you worked with someone who had a different opinion than you.
  • These questions are related to the specific field, industry and position at hand. The interviewer should get a good sense of your relevant knowledge. Common questions include:
  • Tell me about a time you used [insert software program or tool].
  • Which trends do you foresee in our industry in the next two years?
  • How would you advertise our product to a specific target group?
  • Here you will be presented with a question or situation to answer. The interviewer will assess your problem-solving, calculation and creative skills. Common questions include:
  • How many gas stations are there in Germany?
  • How many tennis balls fit in this room?
  • What is your estimate for the global retail market for mobile phones?
  • At the end of an interview you will generally have the opportunity to ask the interviewer your questions. This is your chance to gather useful information and to leave a final impression with your interviewer. Generally you should prepare 5 -7 questions and expect to ask 3-4 of them.
  • Common questions include:
  • Clarification about the position and organization (including questions that came up during the interview)
  • Organizational culture and daily activities
  • Information to help you make a decision about accepting a potential offer
  • # Interview Answers

    You should prepare 2-3 answers for each common interview question. That way you have plenty of responses or examples if you already share your top answer in another interview question.

    During an interview you may be asked to share a story or an example. This is common for behavioral or technical question.

    One common structure for your story is the STAR Model:

    Situation: What was the context for your story or example?
    Task: Which responsibilities did you take on?
    Action: Which steps did you take to complete the task? Which role did you take on in a team (if applicable)?
    Results: What was the outcome of your actions?

    Once you've identified answers to common interview questions practice them with your friends, classmates and/or by yourself. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel in an interview setting.

    # Interview Mindset

    Interviews can be a stressful experience. Here are some tips to help you feel less nervous.

    Practice, practice, practice! Review common interview questions alone or with a friend.

    Speak slowly and clearly.

    Sit up straight and smile.

    Wear business formal clothes that feel comfortable. You could even wear them during your practice sessions to feel more comfortable in them.

    Take notes during the interview and refer to them during/after the interview.

    # Your Contacts

    Michaela Wieandt

    Head of Career Development
    +49 30 32007-166

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